Charcot neuropathic arthropathy is a degenerative, debilitating disease that affects the foot and ankle in patients with diabetes and peripheral neuropathy, often resulting in destruction, amputation. Proposed etiologies include neurotraumatic, inflammatory, and neurovascular. There has been no previous animal model for Charcot. This study proposes a novel rodent model of induced neuropathic arthropathy to understand the earliest progressive pathologic changes of human Charcot. High-fat-diet-induced obese (DIO) Wild-type C57BL/6J mice (n = 8, diabetic) and age-matched low-fat-diet controls (n = 6) were run on an inclined high-intensity treadmill protocol four times per week for 7 weeks to induce mechanical neurotrauma to the hind-paw, creating Charcot neuropathic arthropathy. Sensory function and radiologic correlation were assessed; animals were sacrificed to evaluate hindpaw soft tissue and joint pathology. With this model, Charcot-DIO mice reveals early pathologic features of Charcot neuropathic arthropathy, a distinctive subchondral microfracture callus, perichondral/subchondral osseous hypertrophy/osteosclerosis, that precedes fragmentation/destruction observed in human surgical pathology specimens. There is intraneural vacuolar-myxoid change and arteriolosclerosis. The DIO mice demonstrated significant hot plate sensory neuropathy compared (P < 0.01), radiographic collapse of the longitudinal arch in DIO mice (P < 0.001), and diminished bone density in DIO, compared with normal controls. Despite exercise, high-fat-DIO mice increased body weight and percentage of body fat (P < 0.001). This murine model of diet-induced obesity and peripheral neuropathy, combined with repetitive mechanical trauma, simulates the earliest changes observed in human Charcot neuropathic arthropathy, of vasculopathic-neuropathic etiology. An understanding of early pathophysiology may assist early diagnosis and intervention and reduce patient morbidity and mortality in Charcot neuropathic arthropathy.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine